Student-volunteers: IEC is an ‘experience of a lifetime’

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CEBU City (Jan. 29, 2016) – Volunteers for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) consider it an “experience of a lifetime” to able to contribute to the success of the global event.

“I am grateful I can spend time helping IEC delegates in my own little way,” said Via Mae Romo, a second-year hotel and restaurant services student from the Banilad Center for Professional Development in Banilad, Cebu City.

Anisa Along and Via Mae Romo, student-volunteers from the Banilad Center for Professional Development (Photo by Dominic Barrios)

Anisa Along and Via Mae Romo, student-volunteers from the Banilad Center for Professional Development (Photo by Dominic Barrios)

As a volunteer usherette, the 18-year-old has to stand for hours showing hungry pilgrims from around the world where the meal stations inside the IEC Pavilion are located.

Coming from a school founded by no less than Blessed Alvaro del Portillo of Opus Dei, she took pride at being part of a gathering that puts the Eucharist at the center of Christian life.

“I am happy I am here at the IEC,” she exclaimed.

Meanwhile, for Anisa Along, another student-volunteer, serving does not just mean carrying out a duty, but doing so with genuine joy and love.

“This is what I want: To serve God and His people, the people of IEC, with joy and love,” the usherette said.

Opportunity to pray

“What’s more, being here allows me also to mingle with different kinds of people,” Along added.

Along said her tiredness disappeared every time she saw pilgrims smiling at her, treating her kindly, and expressing appreciation for what she and fellow volunteers did.

Asked about her idea of the congress, Along described it as a week-long conference of people of all colors united by a common love for the Body and Blood of Christ.

While she is not officially an IEC delegate, the student said she would like to grab the opportunity given her to ask forgiveness from the Lord, pray for her loved ones, and ask for blessings. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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